Heat wave ready to break

Dec. 17, 2013 @ 05:52 PM

Don’t expect winter to arrive like a lion. Forecasters say this weekend will be in the 70s.

In fact, Sunday’s predicted high of 77 would break the record of 75 set in 1967 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Today will make it only to the upper 40s, but Friday should be like a breath of fresh air, with a high of 66, according to meteorologist Jonathan Blaes at the National Weather Service at N.C. State University.

Saturday will be warmer still, with a high of 70, and Sunday’s expected high of 77 will be about 25 degrees above normal, Blaes said.

Why?

It’s all about the jet stream.

“The jet stream separates cold, Canadian air to the west and north from the warmer, moist air to the south and east, and we’ll be on the warm, moist part of it,” according to Blaes.

“But all good things must come to an end, and eventually, the jet stream will shift east, and we’ll start moving to the other side.”

That means temperatures will fall Christmas Eve, with highs only in the 40s.

Showers and possibly a thunderstorm are possible Sunday night and Monday, but no precipitation is expected Tuesday or Christmas Day.